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King Henry the Fourth:
ry V) duke of Bedford;
Henry V) duke of Gloster;
enemies to the king.
drawers, beadles, grooms, &c.
SCENE, England. * See note under the Persona Dramatis of the First Part of this play. Steevens,
KING HENRY IV.
Warkworth. Before Northumberland's Castle.
Enter Rumour,' painted full of Tongues.? Rum. Open your ears; For which of you will stop The vent of hearing, when loud Rumour speaks? I, from the orient to the drooping west, Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold The acts commenced on this ball of earth: Upon my tongues continual slanders ride; The which in every language
1 Enter Rumour,] This speech of Rumour is not inelegant or unpoetical, but it is wholly useless, since we are told nothing which the first scene does not clearly and naturally discover. The only end of such prologues is to inform the audience of some facts previous to the action, of which they can have no knowledge from the persons of the drama. Johnson.
painted full of Tongues.] This direction, which is only to be found in the first edition in quarto of 1600, explains a passage in what follows, otherwise obscure. Pope.
Rumour is a pipe -] Here the poet imagines himself describing Rumour, and forgets that Rumour is the speaker.
And of so easy and so plain a stop,
so easy and so plain a stop,] The stops are the holes in a flute or pipe. So, in Hamlet: «Govern these ventages with your finger and thumb:-Look you, these are the stops." Again: “ You would seem to know my stops.” Steevens.
5 And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone,] The old copies read -worm-eaten hole. Malone.
Northumberland had retired and fortified himself in his castle, a place of strength in those times, though the building might be impaired by its antiquity; and, therefore, I believe our poet wrote: And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone.
Theobald. Theobald is certainly right. So, in The Wars of Cyrus, &c. 1594:
Besieg'd his fortress with his men at arms, “ Where only I and that Libanio stay'd
“ By whom I live. For when the hold was lost,” &c. Again, in King Henry VI, P. III:
“ She is hard' by with twenty thousand men,
KING HENRY IV.
ACT I.....SCENE I.
The Porter before the Gate; Enter Lord BARDOLPH. Bard. Who keeps the gate here, ho ?-Where is the
earl ? Port. What shall I say you are? Bard.
Tell thou the earl, That the lord Bardolph doth attend him here.
Port. His lordship is walk'd forth into the orchard; Please it your honour, knock but at the gate, And he himself will answer.
Enter NORTHUMBERLAND. Bard.
Here comes the earl. North. What news, lord Bardolph ? every minute now Should be the father of some stratagem: 1 The times are wild; contention, like a horse Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose, And bears down all before him. Bard.
North. Good, an heaven will!
As good as heart can wish :-
some stratagem:] Some stratagem means here some great, important, or dreadful event. So, in The Third Part of King Henry VI, the father who had killed his son says:
“O pity, God! this miserable age !